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Old 12-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

MAN! recovery does NOT happen over night! or over a month for that matter. New problems arise and you have to cope.

I have been struggling with my PT some days I can get out of bed and be able to stretch out the pain and discomfort others (like today) I depend on the muscle relaxers and pain medicine to do the work because my attempt's don't do it!!

I found out that I waited way to long to get the surgery. I had been dealing with the right leg pain and lower back pain for almost 8 years and finally buckled under guidance to get surgery and I have one piece of advice DON'T WAIT!

My nerve is so annoying and painful coming back to life and rebuilding! My leg moves almost constantly now and the movements are not under my control. I will lay in bed and kick all night, and do the same during the day. When I walk I get horrible leg cramps and my leg will pull causing me to have horrible balance. My surgeon said it is most likely just the nerve coming back to life and I could deal with it for months possibly years depending on the amount of time it takes for my nerve to rebuild. He also put me on a medication they usually Rx to people that suffer from Parkinson's disease..

My lower back is often irritated by the slightest movement as well. PT is finally starting to help a little but it still takes me about 3-4 hrs to be able to move around pain free on any given day. All my abdomen pain and scar are healed and feel fine now its lower back pain and the discomfort of the leg movement.

I just keep on moving around and try to stay focused on the goal of being able to get into the garden this spring!

Stay strong folks!

 
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

You probably don't want to hear this right now, but you are still early in recovery. With my first fusion, I didn't start physical therapy until 12weeks and then I stopped because it was aggravating my sciatic nerve too much. I waited another month and restarted at that point.

It's hard to know how long to wait. People that rush into surgery and end up in more pain are really angry that they didn't give every conservative therapy a good try...when dealing with nerves, it is really impossible to know how long is too long...and of course, no surgery comes with a guarantee...so you never know if it is going to help, makes things worse or you'll end up the same.

But I can assure you at seven weeks, you are really just beginning your recovery. Remember that even though you may see signs of bone growth early, it takes about a year for the new bone to set up and become strong. This is very important as it is this good solid bone that helps to protect the adjacent levels from additional stress from the fusion.

Just take things a day at a time....chances are, the worst is behind you.

 
Old 12-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Yeah I thought about asking to discontinue my PT for a little longer. I still consider it sometimes when I feel really crappy but then I remember that PT is the thing that will eventually make me feel 100% without the assistance of Rx meds! Pain in the leg was gone as soon as I woke up in the hospital and most of the pain was gone during the first few weeks. Then i started to ween off the strong pain meds and it got a little worse but I cannot be on meds forever so I have to deal with a little pain..

Day by day is how I live in recovery with goals I try to meet..

It is very strange to go from 8 years of one type of chronic pain to a whole new kind of pain..

 
Old 12-09-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Hey man, I feel for ya. 9 weeks post op pain still for me. Good luck.

Last edited by luck25; 12-09-2012 at 11:05 PM.

 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:40 AM   #5
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Hi Guerrilla,
I just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you as you go through your recovery. Your post has helped me (different procedure..6 days post laminotomy of L3-L4, L4-L5 with facet clean up on the same levels). I've also endured bilateral knee replacements, two ankle surgeries, and compartmet release surgery. I have to say that this spinal recovery..leg pain..low left back pain...weirdness...unknown...is extremely differnt from the other surgeries and a bit more "trying" than the others.

I admire your attitude and I'm going to adopt that mind set. Sending positive vibes your way.

Julie

 
Old 12-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Guerrilla,
What everyone wants to know is ...how is your baby girl???? She is in my thoughts still and i hope much improved! You know us grown ups will be fine...
Glad to see you back on here.
Agwhitten

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

[QUOTE=agwhitten;5102198]Guerrilla,
What everyone wants to know is ...how is your baby girl???? She is in my thoughts still and i hope much improved! You know us grown ups will be fine...
Glad to see you back on here.
Agwhitten[/QUOTE]

My daughter is doing better, thanks for asking!! It's sad to see a 2 year old be on blood pressure medication and a diet that requires her to have only a limited amount of sodium and have to get her blood pressure taken 3 times a day. But we have it figured out and know that she has post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, worse part now is prognosis isn't too clear since it is not common for someone her age to be diagnosed with it. So we continue to pray for her daily.

Thank you again for asking! And it feels good to be back on here! Been working on recovery and just have been staying busy! You know how it is! Ask anyone and they say or have typed -

"Most people that have gotten this surgery are not on here because they are out living a better life and staying busy."

I read that a million times when I was seeking advise prior to my surgery lol..

Stay positive folks!

 
Old 12-11-2012, 04:33 AM   #8
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Hi guerilla, Glad to hear how you are doing, I hope it gets better day by day and that the PT and new medicine helps. I truly understand the nerve "weirdness", its worse some days & others better! Same with getting out of bed, my dentist office, dr, hair salon etc always offer me appointments after 1 pm now! Lol I just saw the post about your daughter & i have kept you all in my prayers. Will continue, good to hear she is home and an update on both of your recoveries! Those fresh veggies will be good for her! Get better soon, but day by day!

Last edited by gmak; 12-11-2012 at 04:48 AM. Reason: typos & wording

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: 7 weeks post op S1-L5 ALIF fusion

Hi!
I just wanted to check in to see how you were recovering!
My friend had ALIF on Nov 6th and he is having a heck of a time with his recovery. Pain in different location but more severe than before surgery. I am trying to get as much info as I can for him so he does not get too discouraged. He is walking with a cane because of spasms and is also on Valium for them it seems to help a bit but he still has them almost constantly it seems and that is on top of the constant pain he is in.
I hope your recovery is going well! All the best ~Brandi

 
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